Think Divergently Like a Beagle - Create More Consume Less

Want To Create More. Consume Less? – Think Divergently Like a Beagle

Why would you want to think divergently? When I started utilising divergent thinking techniques, it opened my mind to a joyful way of creating, writing, and painting.

In joining the unusual dots, I discovered that I could connect pretty much any subject or object to another.

By actively employing the practice of consciously shifting my perception to what’s possible, I could freely create and have fun, just like a kid again.

Renowned British educationalist, author, and public speaker Sir Ken Robinson stated that divergent thinking is the “essential capacity for creativity”.

What Ken meant by this is that it’s not about you becoming creative. Instead, it’s learning how to fully realise your own innate and existing divergent thinking skills that are already inside of you.

Your Brain’s Default is to Fill in the Gaps

When you want to create something new, you tend to think about familiar things and what you already know, whether painting an artwork, taking a photo, writing a novel, or crafting a functional object.

You pick a subject, then consider what experiences you have concerning it to help you form an interesting creative idea around it.

During this stage, you will ponder what you remember about the subject.

But what happens if you don’t know enough about the topic of interest?

When you are data-poor and uncertain about a subject matter, you must make guesses, fill in the gaps, and predict possibilities.

You often discover there is no one correct answer at this stage.

“It’s time we tried my latest invention, the Mind Manipulation-omatic. It extracts unwanted thoughts and desires. I haven’t tested it yet, but it should be perfectly safe. Just a bit of harmless brain alteration, that’s all.” ~ Wallace, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Enter Your Knight in Shining Armour

An old English proverb says, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

You could translate this into when your need becomes paramount; it will force you to strive for that need in multiple ways.

Now is the time to flex your divergent thinking muscles.

When you grab that paintbrush, ink pen, keyboard, clay, fabric, or hammer and reach out to consider some hypothetical “What If?” questions.

Questions like:
  1. What would X think about Y? For example: What would Kourtney think about Kim?
  2. What if X happened instead? What would occur? For example: What if Captain Kirk won the US Presidency? What would that lead to happening?
  3. Suppose Z was in charge; how would that change things? For example: Suppose Oprah was in charge; how would that change things?
  4. What would happen if we switched A and B? For example: What would happen if we switched Joe Biden and Sponge Bob? (A sea sponge who works as a fry cook. Now that’s creative).
  5. Imagine that C was not valid anymore; how would that affect this? For example: Imagine that Netflix was not available anymore; how would that affect you?
  6. If this took place today, what would it be like to experience? For example: If aliens landed today and announced themselves, what would it be like as an experience?

Time to Take Off the Rose-tinted Sunglasses

The above are all examples of questions generated by divergent thinking. An active tool for you to easily change your perspective on any given subject.

Divergent thinking requires a response using independently generated data or a new perspective on a given topic.

There are many correct answers to such questions because the goal of divergent thinking is to develop as many different ideas as possible as quickly as you can.

Divergent thinkers are open-minded, non-judgemental, enjoy an eclectic lifestyle, nonconformers, curious risk-takers and doggedly persistent.

Speaking of which…

Meet Gromit the Beagle

Gromit is an excellent example of a successful divergent thinker. You may know him from the hilarious series of British animation films by Nick Park.

Gromit is an intelligent beagle who studied at Dogwarts University, where he earned a double first in Engineering for Dogs.

He is talented in electronics, knitting, has a pilot’s license to fly aeroplanes, and regularly plays chess. In addition, he loves drinking tea, cooking, and reading the newspaper.

In all the animation films Gromit has starred in, this unassuming dog uses divergent thinking. 

Embracing your latent divergent thinking skills like Gromit the beagle will help you create so much more value to share with others, and in the process, you will find yourself naturally consuming less.

Instead of merely existing in life as a consumer, you will be living your life fully as a creator.

Meet Gromit, the world’s most divergent thinking Beagle.

Take Away Message

Were you inspired and entertained by this trailer?

I hope it brightened your day and sparked some creative ideas.

Now that you know what chickens do when no one is watching (did you catch that in the video?), consider how you can put divergent thinking into action.

Ask yourself: How can I practice what I’ve learnt from reading Janice’s article today?

You never know. We might end up with Sponge Bob as president after all. Patties and pancakes never smelt so good!

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Think Divergently Like a Beagle - Create More Consume Less
Wallace and Gromit have a cup of tea. Illustration by Lizabeth
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